India, China prepare for 12th round of talks
June 28, 2021 - The stalemate between India and China drags on, with each side currently deploying 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the fiercely contested “Line of Actual Control” (LAC) in India’s Himalayan Ladakh region.
India and China have been locked in a military standoff in eastern Ladakh since September 2019. However, when the harsh Himalayan winter ended in May 2020, India discovered that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had built heavily armed forward bases in Ladakh.
The PLA reportedly occupied about 250 square kilometres in the Depsang Plains. Depsang holds a strategic road leading to Daulat Beg Oldi -- the world’s highest airbase at 5,100 metres (16,700ft) -- and Karakoram Pass.
The PLA also occupied around 60 square kilometres of land in the “fingers” territory on the north bank of the Pangong Lake, Indian officials said. China’s land grabs constitute the first PLA winter deployment since the 32-day Sino-Indian War in 1962.
In February 2021, the two sides withdrew troops and weapons from Pangong Lake’s north and south banks following military and diplomatic talks.
On Sunday (June 27), India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane began a three-day visit to Ladakh.
The visit comes just two days after India and China held the eleventh round of talks to resolve the standoff. However, the Press Trust of India reported that the negotiations remained deadlocked, with China reluctant to withdraw its troops from Depsang Plains, Hot Springs, Gogra and Demchok.
- India, China agree to maintain dialogue To resolve LAC standoff in eastern Ladakh (Press Trust of India)
- The border crisis in Ladakh may end in war or peace — or it may never end (Lowy Institute))
- China gained ground on India during bloody summer in Himalayas (Bloomberg)
- India, China prepare for 12th round of military commander talks (The Hindu)